Le Château de Bénéauville
Located on Bavent’s township, the Château de Bénéauville is an outstanding monument that has no equivalent in Pays d’Auge.
Its brickwork and stone, its facade straight and huge, its ax roof-shaped, make it a unique specimen of architecture.
Its material is a proof that it belongs to the Pays d’Auge but, it is related to the plain of Caen by a certain stiffness of the lines and its main contractor from Amblie (Canton Creully)that built the Château de Bénéauville in the late sixteenth century.
Below, the pictures of the engraved insertions on the rear wall of the Château are mines of information and details on the building’s construction.
The two plates, written in old French, sealed in the wall behind the Castle, tells many details about its construction.
Inside, the chimneys of the Château de Bénéauville tell us about people’s tastes for the revival of ancient literature, mythology, and sacred Scripture.
In the dining room, Actaeon is changed into a stag, on the first-floor bedrooms, admire the polychrome chimney depicting Hercules slaying the Hydra, meditate on the great patience of Job and see “How Solomon made judgments admirable.”
The ceiling paintings in the library shows family crests, fruit baskets and flowers while the first floors bedroom and dining room ceilings shows small landscapes that have kept an astonishing freshness of color. These wonderful decorations were completed and are dated: “October 8, 1636”.
In 1782 the Château de Bénéauville was sold to Pierrs Bernardin Victor Housset de Catteville, treasurer of wars residing in Caen and was sold several times until its eighth and current owner Philippe Augais.
In 1897, the Château was the subject of a bequest from Mr. and Mrs. Duquesne to the benefit of the orphanage for the Arts, created by some famous women artists, including Sarah Bernhardt.
It housed for a short time the orphans of this institution who could appreciate the benefits of a stay in Normandy.
Today the Château de Bénéauville, is very much like it was at the 16th century, with the exception of two small pavilions of XVII and XVIII century which flank the elegant facade. This is also in the 17th and 18th centuries that laid out the chimneys of the second floor and some wooden paneling in the reception rooms.
It is nowadays preceded by a broad and noble avenue of plane trees.
Through the Library, a fireplace mantle from the Château de Sully sur Loire complements all the wonderful that we have described.
“The Château de Bénéauville is a wonder. This work is unique, it can not be compared to any other. this is perhaps the most curious Château, the most complete, most unexpected of our Pays d’Auge. ” – (Henri Pellerin; Aout 1957 ).